Barrie Kosky’s The Golden Cockerel gives audiences a Kosky trifecta!

Adelaide Festival announces the triumphant return of Australia’s most celebrated international opera
director Barrie Kosky with his latest masterpiece, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel. The
opera will form the dazzling centrepiece of the 2022 Adelaide Festival.

Kosky has previously directed two sell-out Adelaide Festival opera events: Glyndebourne Festival
Opera’s production of Saul in 2017 and Komische Oper Berlin production of The Magic Flute in 2019.
Adored for the startling vision he brings to familiar classics, Kosky’s extraordinary dreamscape
production of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel has already been rapturously received in
France, where it played sell-out shows at the 2021 Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en Provence.

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov conceived The Golden Cockerel over the terrifying din of the 1905 revolution.
Described as the summation of his craft, the opera is half surreal fairy-tale, half political satire, but fell
foul of Tsarist censors and Rimsky-Korsakov died with the voluptuous score of his imagination unheard. Premiering in 1909, it has become a key work of the European operatic repertoire.

Joint Artistic Director Rachel Healy Said:

Political satire, sardonic humour and surreal burlesque, The Golden Cockerel is an opera tailor-made for Barrie Kosky. It’s wonderful to again be co-producing with Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and it was thrilling to witness French audiences return to the theatre with such gusto and excitement when The Golden Cockerel opened at the magical Théâtre de l’Archevêché in July. We can’t wait to bring the same experience to Adelaide Festival audiences in March 2022.

Joint Artistic Director Neil Armfield Said:

We have been hounded by festival audiences to ‘bring back Barrie!’ His operas have such immediate appeal to young audiences and opera first-timers, while also attracting seasoned opera lovers, so we’re thrilled to announce The Golden Cockerel as the third part of the Kosky trifecta. If you’re transported by Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, or Flight of the Bumble Bee, you’ll fall in love with this richly melodic, kaleidoscopic work. And we’re doubly proud that this will be the first time the opera has been staged in Australia since it was written in 1908 – your first experience of this glorious work will be in the most beautiful and original production imaginable.

In its impossibly demanding roles for bass, lyric coloratura soprano and stratospheric tenor, audiences
will hear the three operatic Olympians who have defined them in recent years: British-Ukrainian Pavlo
Hunka, and Russian stars Venera Gimadieva and Andrei Popov. Their spine-chilling voices will soar
over the magnificent Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, which is re-united with its former Music Director,
Arvo Volmer.

Director Barrie Kosky Said:

I am thrilled to be coming back to Adelaide Festival with an opera production that means so much to me, and very grateful to be a part of another incredible festival curated by Neil and Rachel. Adelaide Festival holds a special place in my heart; it is my favourite arts festival in all the world and I have my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to attend.

The Golden Cockerel, which recently premiered in May at Opéra National de Lyon, is a co-production with Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence, Adelaide Festival, Opéra National de Lyon
and Komische Oper Berlin in association with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

“Dark wit spiced with surreal burlesque. Classic Kosky… A triumphant evening” Bachtrack

“You wish it would never end….The Golden Cockerel is certainly the Rimsky-Korsakov masterpiece.” Opera Today

The Golden Cockerel will play at the Adelaide Festival Theatre from 4 – 9 March 2022.The full Adelaide Festival 2022 program will be launched on 26 October.

Season Details

Venue: Adelaide Festival
Date:  4 – 9 March 2022.

For more information click HERE

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